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Work / Advertising

John Cleese stars in new Specsavers ad as Basil Fawlty

As part of Specsavers’ continuing Should’ve Gone to Specsavers campaign, this new spot features John Cleese reprising the role of Basil Fawlty, 35 years since he last roamed the Fawlty Towers lobby.

Directed by Tim Bullock and created by the Specsavers’ in-house creative team (with some script help from John Cleese himself), the ad follows Basil struggling to cope with the voice-command technology in his car. Frustrated and frazzled, we see Basil recreating the famous scene from the fifth episode as he gives the car “a damn good thrashing” with a branch. Of course, in true Specsavers fashion, Basil attacks the wrong car (a police car no less) and hilarity ensues.

The charm of this ad is how familiar it all feels, both in Specsavers’ long-running campaign joke and the silliness of Fawlty Towers. It’s a simple, slapstick-riddled, well-constructed advert and a clever move from Specsavers to use an iconic British comedy character to engage its audience.

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Specsavers: Specsavers Fawlty Car

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Specsavers: Specsavers Fawlty Car

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Specsavers: Specsavers Fawlty Car